Liberty’s Tynan Gilmore shows heart in final conference games

October 30, 2012

By Michele Mihalovich

Tynan Gilmore, Liberty High School senior quarterback, drags a Mount Si senior defensive back into the end zone with his fourth-quarter punt return Oct. 26. By Greg Farrar

Though the Liberty High School Patriots lost to Mount Si, 35-7, on Oct. 26, to put their record at 3-6, it might be the best team Steve Valach has coached in his 14 years with Liberty.

“I tell you what,” he said. “If all my teams had the heart and courage of this year’s team, I’d coach until I was 100 years old.”

This was a rough season for the Patriots. Two seniors who might have had a shot as football scholarships decided to not even play this year, according to Valach.

The team has been rife with injuries. On Oct. 26, only 30 players suited up. The week before was even worse — 25.

But one of those injuries, a season-ending concussion for the Patriots’ starting quarterback, put one kid in the spotlight that no one in their right mind would want to be.

Tynan Gilmore was asked to play as quarterback, a position he’d never been trained for. And he was asked to do it with just two conference games remaining — against Bellevue, No. 1 in the state, and then No. 2 Mount Si.

“Can you believe that?” Valach asked. “He’s never been a quarterback in his life, and we were asking him to go up against the two best teams in the state.”

He managed to get 11 points on the board against one of the top high school teams in the nation.

Despite the score, the Liberty team and the coaches had nothing but good things to say about Gilmore and the difficult position he was put in at the end of a tough season.

“He is one player I will remember my whole career,” Valach said.

Liberty will play one more game this season, a nonconference matchup at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 against the Blanchet Braves at Liberty.

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